Opening up the books--- old pizza restaurant

A friend of mine wants to take over an existing dine-in pizza restaurant. I obviously have no prior experience on this as we built our location from the ground up. I’m turning to you-- my fellow pizza makers for advice and answers to some of his questions

-How can he have access to their books? The sale is currently being brokered through the landlord and not directly w/ the owners.

-What should he look for on their books (gross revenue, labor and food costs, etc.) ?

-What other redflags should he look out for? And encouraging signs and potential for an existing business.

From my understanding he will simply just take over the lease with equipment and everything else in place. The primary reason of the sale is problems with the partners and not necessarily weak sales. But he did say that the shopping center has about 5 spaces empty and it’s been around since the early 80s.

I’m sure he’ll have more questions but first and foremost he wants to know how to get access to their books.

If they won’t share…no one can make them show you their records…

Find out what the lease arrangements are & build a business plan…

Then see if its worth it…


I’ve seen dozens of these dinosaurs… I’ll bet they even have video games already installed…

My advice: wait a year. The business will be under.


  1. Landlord is brokering?? HAHAHAHAHAHA… Sure sign this place is a dead man walking. (*HINT: in this case, the books are nothing more than a pile of RED INK)

  2. Shopping mall is 30+ years old with 5+ vacancies?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Sure sign this place is a dead man walking.

Here’s your sign? Can you spot it?

Another hint: google (and research) the trek/trend of malls/neighborhoods over the past 40 years - should be a clear sign.